Paul Allen of Lakewood asks for the...

Times Travel Editor

Paul Allen of Lakewood asks for the name of a hotel "with atmosphere" in Amsterdam. My vote goes to the little Pulitzer. Address: Prisengracht 315-331, Amsterdam NL-1016GZ. It's a combination of 17th-Century town houses. Faces a canal. Old World outside, modern, comfortable inside. Peaceful gardens, a good restaurant. About 12 miles from Schiphol Airport, a couple of miles to the rail station. Rates start at 250 Dutch guilders.

Mexican Artifacts

Everyone calls her Mama Mono and her specialty is copying pre-Columbian Mexican sculptures at her hillside casa in Puerto Vallarta. Mama (she's the mother of 15 children) does replicas that resemble museum pieces. You leaf through her catalog, make a selection. After this she and the family fire up the kiln. Pieces are on sale as well at Galeria Uno, 561 Morelos in downtown Puerto Vallarta. Contact Mama Mono Ramirez c/o Casa Chica, Miramar No. 533.

Invitation to Britain

Eileen Younghusband (visiting in Carlsbad) sends along this note: "As a frequent visitor to Southern California, I am writing to let you know of a special service I offer visitors to Britain. I live by the coast in the village of Sully, near Cardiff in South Wales, and I would be pleased to host a small family or friends (up to four people) in my house and arrange to introduce them to the real West of England and South Wales. Individual trips would be provided and would include visits to out-of-the-way pubs, antique shops and all the places the tourist never hears about. I can be contacted at 4648 Telescope Ave., Carlsbad, Calif. 92008-3764, or in the United Kingdom c/o Picquets, 51 Cog Road, Sully, South Glamorgan, England. I can assure our American friends of a warm welcome, first-class food and an interesting insight into British life."

Alaska

If you're planning a cruise to Alaska, get a copy of Mike Miller's Alaska Travel Newsletter. The first issue of '86 deals exclusively with cruising. Answers every question imaginable about ships, itineraries. "This is going to be an incredible year," says Miller. A total of 33 vessels will be plying the Inside Package. Biggest number ever. Miller lists companies, ports, prices. Besides cruise ships, Miller describes nine major ferry liners and tells how 20 cruise ships will take in Vancouver, site of Expo '86. Other issues in Miller's newsletter series deal with fishing, road information, offbeat attractions, etc. Six issues a year, $25. Write to P.O. Box 1494, Juneau, Alaska 99802.

Europe Car Rentals

Despite that nut Kadafi and the other crazies, jetloads of Americans will be doing Europe again this summer. Here are the latest rates announced by Auto Europe: Unlimited mileage rentals begin at $79 in Belgium and Luxembourg, $88 in Germany, $89 in Spain, $94 in Britain, $99 in Portugal, $105 in Denmark, $109 in Ireland, Holland and Yugoslavia, $113 in Austria, $119 in Italy, $121 in France, $125 in Switzerland, $139 in Sweden, Morocco. Prices guaranteed, says Auto Europe. A total of 629 rental stations in 28 countries. If you're planning on an extended stay, inquire about leasing. Company stocks campers, motor homes, provides chauffeur-driven cars. See your travel agent or call Auto Europe, (800) 223-5555. For brochures write to P.O. Box 500, Yorktown Heights, N.Y. 10598.

Saddle Up

Wolfgang and Peggy Hallauer have put together another series of riding tours overseas. Spain, Austria, Italy, France, Hungary, New Zealand, Africa, Inner Mongolia, Argentina, Uruguay. In France there's a ride from Beaune to Bellecroix, Chalon sur Saone, Cormatin, Brancion, Tournus. Features country hotels, wine tasting in castles. Rides in Austria take in glacier areas, high meadows. For a free brochure write to FITS Equestrian, 2011 Alamo Pintado Road, Solvang, Calif. 93463, or telephone (805) 688-9494.

Meanwhile, Dana and John Burden of Wickenburg, Ariz., are completing plans for their annual Lost Dutchman trail ride, March 17-21. Takes in Arizona's Superstition Mountain Wilderness Area. About 15 miles a day. Catered meals, hot showers. Legends by campfire told by historian Tom Kollenborn. Cost: $475. Other rides planned into the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly, Monument Valley. Even Australia. Contact Adventure Trails of the West, P.O. Box 1494, Wickenburg, Ariz. 85358.

Halley's Comet

A "comet special" will leave Los Angeles Union Station March 14 on a three-day rail trip to Yuma, Ariz., to eyeball Halley's big show in the sky. The train will cross the desert at night with an astronomer lecturing. Passengers will toast the dawn with champagne, travel by bus to the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge (Canadian geese, ducks, egrets, eagles, bobcat, big horn sheep) and by boat along the Colorado River. Price ($249) includes some meals. Contact Marlene Gordon c/o The Next Stage, P.O. Box 35269, Los Angeles 90035, or telephone (213) 939-2688. Other trips to view the comet are planned for late March/April.

Massachusetts B&Bs;

New England is preparing for a record number of visitors this summer. A free guide to guest houses and B&Bs; in Massachusetts is ready for mailing. More than 200 selections in the countryside, the seashore, cities. Country farmhouses, slick town houses. Ten regional maps give directions. For a copy of the 24-page "Spirit of Massachusetts Bed & Breakfast Guide," write to the Massachusetts Division of Tourism, 100 Cambridge St., 13th floor, Boston, Mass. 02202.

Footnote

The Times has learned that Near Inc. of Oklahoma City, Okla., which specialized in insuring travelers, has closed its doors and disconnected its telephones. The Better Business Bureau of Oklahoma City has confirmed this information and has sent questionnaires to the company to determine whether it has gone out of business. The State Insurance Commission has no other details.

Reader Recommendations

Idyllwild--Mr. and Mrs. Mort H. Dover, Glendale: Enjoyed Quiet Creek Inn, 26345 Delano Drive, P.O. Box 240, Idyllwild, Calif. 92349. "We can only sing praises for this lovely mountain retreat." Rates: $48/$54.

Palm Springs--Mr. and Mrs. Fredrick Fortney, San Francisco: Enjoyed the Palm Tee Hotel, 1590 E. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs 92264. Rates start at $52. "Such a nice, small hotel with owners who are so friendly and accommodating. Continental breakfast every morning at no extra charge. Fresh fruit and snacks during the day." Telephone (619) 327-1293. Rates start at $52.

England--Mrs. S. Flewitt, Palm Springs: Enjoyed Victoria Private Hotel, Alderney, Channel Islands, Great Britain. "Just eight miles from the coast of France. Breathtaking cliff walks, old castles. Sunbathed on golden, almost deserted beaches. For nature lovers, there are sea bird colonies and gorgeous flora. For sporty types, activities abound, including golf, fishing, sailing, riding. Under $35 for two persons."

England--Ron and Pat Bennett, Pasa Robles: "A small country hotel, Cottage in the Wood, Whinlatter Pass, Braithwaite, Near Keswick, Cumbria CA12 5TW, England, at the north end of the Lake District. This small old inn served the finest meal we encountered in three weeks of traveling. Our tab for two including dinner, breakfast and lodging plus wine with dinner, was about 32."

England--John A. Graves, Thousand Oaks: "The best, most comfortable B&B; I have ever experienced, 4 Broadlands Ave., Southbourne, Dorset, England. The River Stow flows 400 yards from the home. Christchurch and Bournemouth are close by. Overnight stay is $14 per person."

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